Sunday, November 12, 2006

20-3 Stanford...Willingham hits the hot seat

Ty Willingham officially was put on the hot seat with fans, alumni, students, and boosters after yesterday's terrible performance against what was possibly the worst team in Pac Ten history, this years edition of the Stanford Cardinal. Washington simply never showed up yesterday, and the team played the entire game like they didn't care even though a bowl bid, and a winning season was on the line. It is pretty clear that Willingham has lost control of his football team in the same way that Gilbertson did before him which is the death knell for any coach.

Losing 20-3 to a terrible Stanford team in the last home game for 26 seniors just boggles the mind. It was clear that our kids were playing to lose yesterday and didn't care about the outcome of the game. Willingham's odd decision to not honor a 5th year for a number of seniors is not unusual. To announce it before a must win game isn't exactly smart since it seems the class gave him the figurative finger yesterday and tanked the game. The Huskies who have had problems getting up for games all year never rebounded from the flattest start of the season and responded with the worst performance we have seen in Husky Stadium in over 50 years. Yes, this was worse than anything Gilby ever manufactured, this was a complete embarrasment for the University, the fans, alumni, boosters, and students.

Accountability starts with the coaching staff who have failed to motivate this team during the last quarter of the season. That accountabilty firmly places Willingham in a position where he likely won't make it past a third season at Washington unless there is a dramatic turn around next season which is very unlikely since Washington will be extremely young next year. "Paint Dry Ty" hasn't made many fan's in the media during his stay at Washington, the drum roll for his ouster has already begun.

I have tried to be positive, and objective with this blog this year. I like Willingham a lot, but yesterday performance deserves an extreme amount of criticism. This loss isn't simply a step back, it is a program, and momentum killing loss. It is a loss that will reverberate up, and down the west coast among potential recruits this season. Ty has given every opposing coach a laundry list over the past week why they shouldn't attend the University of Washington and play for Willingham.

I actually had to wait a good amount of time to write this because I did not want my emotions to get in the way, but the next morning little has changed for me. I feel the program suddely is moving in the wrong direction, and this current staff has lost control of the team. No way do you lose to a lousy team like Stanford that you should be able to beat by 30 points.

As far as the players involved go, don't let the screen door hit you on the way out of Montlake. These guys tanked it, no other explanation, they just didn't care. Yesterday's performance was a figurative single finger pointed at every student, fan, alumni, and booster. We all deserve a lot better than this.

It is time for some accountability, it is time for the major supporters to light a fire under Turner, and Emmert to make the neccesary changes to turn this program around. Whether it is with Willingham, or without Willingham change has to happen, and it has to happen quickly. Yesterday's game guarantee's a much smaller renewal of season tickets and overall attendance next season. Football is the horse that drives the engine at Washington, without a solid program the whole infrastructure required to support 21 teams begins to fail. Forget about a modern Husky Stadium, forget about a completed Baseball stadium, say hello to a freeway through the South deck of the stadium.

UW football hit a historic low yesterday, drastic measures are needed to reverse it, or this could become the norm.


Anonymous said...

THAT....sums it up perfectly. Thanks for the great post and your honest opinion. I was at the game yesterday as I have been for the past 33 years and I saw no emotion from the football team.

Jon '74

Michael Wines said...

I was totally shocked by the outcome of the game. Your post says it all John. I feel your pain as my beloved Ducks looked helpless at the Coliseum yesterday. Definitely time to look forward.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I like Willingham, but this team seems to have absolutely no emotion. There is absolutely no excuse for yesterday, none.

Thanks for the nice comments. We will continue to cover Husky Football, Basketball, and recruiting during the Winter. the goal is a new article every day, and we usually do that. So everyone keep visiting and we will get back to accentuating the positive when it is merited.

hairofthedawg said...

Very well put John. As always what you say makes a lot of sense. You may be right about next year being the deciding one on the era of "Paint Dry Ty".

Yesterday's game was pitiful. Next year's team will be young. We're so far into this purging and rebuilding that I don't feel it makes sense to change direction without seeing the result. Yeah, it could mean a few more years of suffering, but even if a change is made, we're still in the same boat. Will we be doomed to repeat the same process every 2 or 3 years until we get it right?

Something is wrong, but it's "at this moment". The fans are already speaking with their wallets, or at least with their use of their tickets. I don't see what can be done aside from riding it out that won't lead to another rinse, lather repeat cycle. I vote for patience.

Health Insurance Expert said...

Hair- Yesterday was a very major setback as far as the perception of the program is concerned. The Stanford game brings up serious leadership questions as far as the football program is concerned.

Anonymous said...

Not being one to look back but it was my personal preference we had hired a head coach (and some assistant coaches) with purple and gold blood in them or close ties to the program. I have to think a Chris Tormey or Gary Pinkel as examples would have been excellent choices with the passion inside to carry on the football tradition built up over the years.

Jon '74

hairofthedawg said...

Mora Jr. would have been my preference had the timing been different when the coaching position was open. That said, we're pretty much stuck with what we have unless whoever it is that decides these things decides they want more turmoil.

I think Ty gets a couple of more years and brings in some good character athletes. If he can win with them, great. If not, someone else should be able to do so.

Health Insurance Expert said...

The ball was dropped when Neuheisel was dismissed and Gilbertson was named coach. We had a lot of options such as Tormey, Mora, and Weis, but Hedges went with Gilby because the upper campus didn't want to make a permanent decision until a new Predident was in place. Gilby had a contract but was never more than an interim choice.

Tormey, and Pinkel were never the answer even if they had Purple and Gold blood. Their moment passed them by when Hedges tabbed Neuheisel.

The guy that Emmert really wanted is now at South Carolina if the truth may be told.

DuckHATER said...

Saturday's game will be HUGE for the fates of both programs.

Bottom line: UW will ALWAYS have a leg up in the rebuilding process because of Seattle,a 77k stadium, and that one National Championship that you all cheated to get.

But, the injury to Stanback and another losing season coming next year means that the rebuilding process is going to take MUCH longer than anyone thought. Hell, I had you all pegged for El Paso (at worst) after the 4-1 start..

Of course, for us Cougs, that makes us quite happy.

On the other hand, beating the Cougs this weekend would go a LONG way to picking things up for y'all--much in the same way that beating you SAVED us last year...

That said, with reductions in scholarship, it isn't as easy to come back when you are CLEARLY the worst of the four Northwest Schools--and have been for the past 3-4 years....

God I hope you lose...

A Cougar Prediction: Ty will bring you back, but won't be around to see it. He'll wind up bringing in some good recruits, but will get canned at the end of NEXT year...Just in time for some hot shot to take the new Jake the Snake and go crazy..

May the best team win in a CLASSIC 13-9 WHO CARES fest!!!!.....